Kingship and State Formation in Sweden 1130-1290


Kingship and State Formation in Sweden covers, for the first time in English, a key period in the consolidation of the Swedish state. The book begins with an overview of Sweden prior to the twelfth century and a reign-by-reign history of the period 1130-1290. Thereafter issues related to kingship and state formation are treated thematically, with sections on royal administration and taxation, legal and military institutions, relations between king and Church, the development of Christian kingship ideology and expansion into Finland. Extensive appendices are included on the genealogy and landholdings of powerful families and on fortifications. The book is well furnished with over forty maps and genealogical tables.
Developments in Sweden are placed firmly within their European context, and the volume will be of interest to all those with an interest in medieval politics in general as well as to students of early Swedish or Scandinavian history.

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Biographical Note

Philip Line completed his Ph.D. on Medieval Swedish Kingship at the University of Leeds in 2003, having previously studied Scandinavian languages in London. He also has a BA in Ancient History (1977). His main interests are in medieval rulership and warfare, in which he is continuing his researches while working as a freelance translator. He now lives in Finland.

Review Quotes

"sein Verdienst liegt ... in einer kritischen Prüfung einschlägiger Forschungen und Theorien. Weil [der Autor] dabei ebenso kenntnisreich wie besonnen man nach der Lektüre jedes Kapitels doch etwas klüger geworden....Man wird künftig gut daran tun, bei jeder Beschäftigung mit einem Thema, das irgendwie mit dem Gegenstand des vorliegenden Buchs zu tun hat, nachzuschlagen, was der Autor dazu zu sagen hat"
Roman Deutinger, Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 65,1 (2009), 426-27

Table of contents

Acknowledgements .. xi

Abbreviations .. xvi

Preface .. xix

Chapter One: State formation and medieval Government .. 1

Chapter Two: Sweden before 1130 .. 34

Chapter Three: Kings and Power Struggles: Sweden from 1130 to 1290 .. 69

Chapter Four: The state and the law .. 151

Chapter Five: Kings and king’s men .. 175

Chapter Six: Territorial division .. 206

Chapter Seven: Taxation and the military ledung .. 225

Chapter Eight: The king’s land .. 268

Chapter Nine: Royal Administration in the early Folkung period .. 297

Chapter Ten: Fortifications and urbanisation .. 306

Chapter Eleven: The Church and the Ideology of Kingship .. 338

Chapter Twelve: Eastward Expansion .. 410

Conclusion .. 468

Appendix 1: Families and their Landholdings .. 481

Appendix 2: Swedish fortifications and palaces .. 522

List of Kings and Rulers of Sweden .. 554

Genealogical tables .. 563

Maps .. 607

Bibliography .. 631

Index .. 669


All those interested in medieval Scandinavia, in particular Sweden, and in the concept and practice of kingship and government in medieval Europe.


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